Wi-Fi Phone - Free Cell Phone Calls On The Horizon
In a move that is sure to have some effect on traditional cell phone companies, Vonage, the number 1 Internet phone company, plans to offer its subscribers a wireless Wi-Fi phone later this year. This Wi-Fi phone will be able to make calls over the Internet at homes or at public places with Wi-Fi service, effectively giving Vonage subscribers a limited-use cell phone that comes with no charges.
While there are currently a number of smaller companies that offer Wi-Fi phones in the US, Vonage's phone would be the the first mass-market Wi-Fi phone and would likely have prices well under the $130 - $750 the smaller companies are currently charging. Vonage plans to begin offering the service between April and June.
Vonage will offer the Wi-Fi phones to all its 400,000 subscribers. Currently these subscribers pay about $25 a month for unlimited local and long-distance calls by plugging a regular phone into an adapter linked to a broadband Internet line. Vonage then turns the calls into data which uses the Internet to pass the data to its destination before being converted back to voice at the other end.